A new guide to enhance the design of childcare provision across Scotland is now available for local authorities, private and third sector providers.

"Space to Grow – Design guidance for early learning and childcare and out of school care settings” is a result of a lot of hard work by, and positive collaboration between, the Care Inspectorate, Scottish Futures Trust, local authorities and Scottish Government.

Space to Grow will help local authorities to develop their expansion plans by clarifying expectations and flexibilities on key aspects of the learning and care environment, including indoor and outdoor space, toilets, changing facilities and kitchen and food preparation.

It contains case studies, which illustrate innovative examples from Scotland and from as far afield as Japan and New Zealand of key approaches such as use of existing assets, extensions, mezzanine areas, outdoor space and modular/off-site construction, as well as a number of new builds.

During a visit to Kilcoy Kindergarten at Muir of Ord, Minister for Childcare and Early Years Mark McDonald said:

“It is an incredibly exciting time for early learning and childcare in Scotland as we prepare to near double funded early learning and childcare provision to 1140 hours by 2020.

This guide will be an extremely useful tool for all early learning and childcare providers to help in planning for this expansion. It is just one of 31 actions we have committed to delivering in the next year to keep quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability at the heart of delivery.

It features some fantastic examples of good design in early years settings from Scotland and further afield, and definitely shows that applying good design practice can have a really positive impact on children’s learning. During my visit to Kilcoy Kindergarten I was able to see how they have combined an existing resource with a range of different outdoor spaces to create a truly innovative environment, which really capture the imagination of the children and help them to become more independent.

We know that high quality learning and childcare can make a key contribution to closing the attainment gap which is why we are determined to deliver the strong foundations our children need to succeed at school and in life.”

Space to Grow is available here.